Coffee fables, tales, and truths is TheQueenBean’s take on the history of coffee. From the origin story to modern-day coffee barons, Coffee fables, tales, and truths shares our laughter, lessons, and love for the beloved bean. Below is an excerpt from one of our fables. To purchase or learn more about our book, please click here.
Lust, lies, and coffee: Bringing coffee to Brazil
“Oozing charm from every pore, he oiled his way around the floor…”1 The year was 1727, and one of Brazil’s most ambitious, most cunning, and most charming Lieutenant Colonials, the Portuguese-born Francisco de Melo Palheta, was on a diplomatic mission from Brazil to French Guiana. De Melo Palheta wasn’t an exceptionally tall man or an extremely handsome one. Nor was he a man who inspired fear or jealousy. He was, at first glance, an unremarkable man. But what one couldn’t see at first glance was that De Melo Palheta had a very special talent; he was an ordinary man with an extraordinary gift for winning — even if that meant going against the general rules of a gentleman’s game. For years De Melo Palheta and other Brazilian leaders had tried, unsuccessfully, to secure a stash of highly coveted coffee seeds. Precious and well-protected, all attempts to purchase or secure (by other means) the bourbon bean had met with failure. De Melo Palheta was determined that this trip would change the course of Brazil’s coffee history. De Melo Palheta first tried to charm Governor Messieur D’Orvilliers into handing over just a few precious coffee seeds, but Messieur D’Orvilliers staunchly refused his request. De Melo Palheta, unfettered, next turned his attention to the Governor’s wife, Madame D’Orvilliers. A full-bodied, often overlooked woman, Madame D’Orvilliers was unaccustomed to the attention and charms of men, especially those with European manners and effusive charm. De Melo Palheta stole every possible moment with the lovelorn woman, seducing her with his deep brown eyes and gentle voice. He told her how he thought of her and would long for her once he had passed from their shores. When he spoke of their parting, his face betrayed grief so deep that it nearly broke her freshly revived heart. One gift, he requested. Just one small token to remember her and the many cups of sublime coffee they sipped together — just a few seeds would be able to keep their treasured memories and love alive. A lovesick romantic and unwise to the ways of men, Madame D’Orvilliers could not refuse her dear Lieutenant Colonial. As he was leaving, the enamored woman … click here to learn more or to purchase Coffee fables, tales, and truths.
1 ‘You did it’ from My Fair Lady. DVD. Directed by George Cukor. Los Angeles: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc., 1956.